SONGWRITING – The 11-Point Plan

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Composer, songwriter and educator Dr. Richard Niles explains his unique system in “SONGWRITING – The 11-Point Plan”. The book, written in Niles’ trademark amusing style, is informed by his career spanning 40 years working with artists such as Paul McCartney, James Brown and the Pet Shop Boys. His songs have been recorded by Ray Charles, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Deniece Williams, Randy Brecker, Kid Creole and Spike Milligan.

The 11-Point Plan is a proven system to write effective songs. It lets the writer’s imagination, emotion and intellect work together to produce compelling work, time after time – by design, not by guesswork. Each Point of the Plan is interdependent – a system of checks and balances. The book is filled with insights, tips and techniques. There are also challenging songwriting exercises designed to develop your skills, developed from a lifetime of teaching.

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What People have said about Richard Niles and

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“Richard Niles is a savant with a sense of humor to match. His writing is insightful, educational and downright hilarious!” Dee Bramble (Songwriter/producer American Idol, David Bowie, Whitney Huston, Faith Hill)

“When you are talking musical pedagogy, Richard Niles is the Daddy. He explains the mechanics of music better than everyone else… Not only does Niles know what he’s talking about, he imparts his knowledge with clarity and certainty.” The Times (London)

“I am filled with honor & gratitude to work alongside you at OCSA. I continue to hear stories of how you are empowering our students to work with incredible songwriting tools and insight.” Rachel St. Marseille – Commercial Music Program Director,
Orange County School of Arts

“Thank you for all your help. I remember being really inspired.” Marina Diamandis
of pop sensation Marina & The Diamonds (former student)

“Your teaching style is very, very cool—and very amusing at the same time as delivering the real deal right to the front door of the student.”
Bassist and educator Janek Gwizdala

“In the beginning of the year, I was fairly intimidated by your class, unsure of how to go about writing for such odd and specific prompts. You taught me and everyone else that for one prompt, there are an infinite amount of interpretations, and how the power of language, even the smallest change in a phrase can greatly affect how successful a song is in conveying a message. I will be forever grateful for the raw honesty in your feedback. It has opened my eyes and changed my views on my songwriting as well as other people’s work.” Nicole Rowe, Student

“Richard’s songwriting seminar and my subsequent private tuition was the best time and money I have ever spent on my craft. Richard has an expert knowledge of the art of songwriting. He was able to offer constructive advice on my songs. In particular he was instrumental in helping me find the conflict in my songs, showing me how to tell a story through my lyrics. Since receiving Richard’s advice my songwriting has taken on a new lease of life (won songwriting awards, numerous collaborations, performed songs with my band to great crowd reception).” Peter Fox, composer and former student

“I want to let you know how helpful I found your seminar. Your advice on lyrics will make me focus with greater detail on what I want to say and how I say it. But everything you said was worth hearing. Definitely worth the admission price!” Seminar attendee Ian Gunn

“Your seminar was very clear, concise and hugely valuable. I loved your directness.”
Seminar attendee Ann Baldwin

“I can’t thank you enough for your songwriting seminar. Your ’11 Point Plan’ makes you think: Why didn’t I think of this before? And it really works!” Seminar attendee Kim Boswell